Lok Sabha takes up Bill for unifying MCD, bringing it under Centre

New Delhi, March 30 : The Delhi government has been giving step-motherly treatment to the M cipal Corporations in Delhi, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday, as he moved a bill to fy the three corporations of Delhi, which also brings it under the control of Centre. Shah, while moving the Bill for debate and passing, said, “I want to say this with full responsibility, Delhi government is behaving like a step mother with the MCD”. He also said that no clear reason could be understood for merging the three corporations, a move made by then Sheila Dixit-led Congress government in 2012, which, it said, appeared to be a political decision. Shah said there is no formity in the policies of the three corporations, the revenue earned was also not equal and workers in the Corporations were unhappy with the state of affairs. The Bill also makes way for delimitation, after which the number of seats in the corporation will be brought down to around 250 from the present 272. Shah urged the MPs to rise above “party politics” and support the Bill for the people of Delhi. “There is no intention except to make MCD better,” he said. As TMC Minister MP Saugata Roy quipped that the government did not want elections in Delhi, and also questioned when MCD polls will be held. Congress leader Manish Tewari, meanwhile, said the Lok Sabha did not have the legislative competence to pass the Bill. Tewari said Article 239 AA, which was being quoted as giving the Centre the power to take up the Bill, was a provision for emergency and only Delhi Assembly could pass this Bill. Tewari also pointed out that the Delhi Election Commission was set to announce the MCD polls, and the same was deferred at the last moment, as the Centre intervened. He said such actions hurt democratic institutions like the Election Commission. Tewari also questioned how long the delimitation process would take and if there would be no polls till then. BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri, meanwhile, attacked the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi, and named the Delhi Chief Minister, even as he was reminded that he should not be named in the House. Bidhuri said the Delhi Chief Minister was hurting the people of Delhi by not providing funds to MCD. BSP MP Kunwar Danish Ali, meanwhile, compared the action with abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir and said, “you don’t want polls in MCD… Just like when you bifurcated J&K, home minister had promised he will hold election soon but delimitation is being used as an excuse to delay it”. Ali questioned if the Centre was scared of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) after Punjab results, and also asked if the decision was discussed with the Delhi government. The BSP MP also mentioned ban on Muslim traders in temple premise, and said the on Government should take action. “People of a particular religion are being told not to run shops… Such discrimination should not be there. It affects image on international stage,” he said. AO RJ

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